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22 Hawk Old Mama talked with her fingers, sipped her liquor till time stopped. Old Mama smiled rueful days, whispered her secrets always to the faithful wind, always going some place, coming back forgetful every time, of whose lips it had kissed, whose secrets tasted at midnights. We have lost Mama to the wind. She left clothes, shoes, pills and a bag of funky stories behind, buried in her underthings, her hair-pins. Putting her away, smelling her presence we break into songs, weaving her sentences together, like the clumpy plaits she made of our hair in the soft of kerosene light. At the grave-side, we stare at the swoop of predator jets, circling the Base, and Maude walks with Mama’s limp, favouring her right ankle, like Mama did, 23 muttering ’bout the way it twisted when she ran from the snort of a white stallion on that slate gray Carolina dawn when the cotton fields were blanched, and the wind was passing by, quiet-quiet, the diving hawks still screaming. ...


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